The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
★★★★ (Mama Scale)
Calla is a city girl, poised and ready for all that her "20-somethings" have to offer. And then, she finds herself in Alaska... without her make up and with an annoying yeti of a man breathing down her back. While Calla arrives in this frozen tundra looking for one thing, she ends up coming home with so much more.
And, once again the emotional romcom STEALS MY HEART and runs away with it! (*cue sobbing emoji*) This book. AH! This book! It has so much heart, so much humor, so much beauty... and, Jonah! It has smoking, hilarious, hard-to-please, yet deeply sensitive, caring, and selfless Jonah. Way to go K.A. Tucker for writing one hunk of a character.
WHAT I LOVED: So freaking much. First, the setting. Who doesn't love a romance set in the wilderness? Alaska is the perfect location to pull glamorous Calla out of her shell. Second, my favorite trope: enemies to lovers. GAH. Calla and Jonah are freaking adorable. From the very first moment they meet, he gives her a serious run for her money and challenges her to realize what's truly important in life. He's not perfect in his execution, and isn't always the most kind, but Calla holds her own and their banter is spot on. Third, the emotional heart of this book. Gosh, this book dealt with so much: Fear, Terminal Illness, Forgiveness, Self-worth. It was deeply emotional and moved me to tears at the end — totally unexpectedly. A beautiful story packaged as a light, fun, and heartwarming narrative about finding yourself in places you'd least expect. With wit, heart, and humor, K.A. Tucker nailed this one!
WHAT I DIDN'T LOVE: The book was a 3.5 (at best) for writing style/tone. It felt a bit sluggish in descriptors and plot development at times — would've loved more sweeping imagery (especially with such an epic setting) — but, for the overall experience of the book, it did not deflect.
Overall, an emotionally heartwarming story about the power of slowing down, second chances, and the deep bond of family.
One-thousand-percent! The perfect mix of nature, romance, and family drama. (However, caution: I would not recommend the audiobook, not my favorite narrator. A ★★★ at best.)
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